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Exclusivement Française

Josie Mitchell: Marie NDiaye, 20 October 2022

Self-Portrait in Green 
by Marie NDiaye, translated by Jordan Stump.
Influx, 87 pp., £7.99, February 2021, 978 1 910312 89 6
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... the very silence were plotting some sort of treachery.’ Comme si … comme si … comme si. Jordan Stump, who has translated six of NDiaye’s novels, admits that when he first attempted My Heart Hemmed In, he gave up after a few pages. Her sentences are tonally ‘precarious’, easy to make ‘flat’ or ‘overly poetic’. He doesn’t always ...

Paper Grave

Kevin Okoth: On Scholastique Mukasonga, 14 December 2023

The Barefoot Woman 
by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated by Jordan Stump.
Daunt, 160 pp., £9.99, April 2022, 978 1 914198 08 3
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by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated by Mark Polizzotti.
Daunt, 155 pp., £9.99, October, 978 1 914198 58 8
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... The Hutu authorities​ in Rwanda, Scholastique Mukasonga writes in The Barefoot Woman, portrayed the Tutsi as ‘inyenzi, cockroaches, insects it was only right to persecute and eventually exterminate’. The term inyenzi evoked images of an enemy that could survive anywhere, no matter the conditions, a pervasive force which had undermined Hutu civilisation ...

I blame the British

Charles Glass: A report from Lake Dokan, 17 April 2003

... politicians, he can, unexpectedly, utter a (belated) truth. George Bush has asked the Congress to stump up an extra $75 billion to replenish expended hardware and to transport more soldiery from the threatened homeland to the battlefield. The American television networks, less enthusiastic about bearing any burden and paying any price, are cutting back on ...

Helping Bush Win Re-Election

Patrick Cockburn: Iraq’s disintegration, 7 October 2004

... was still wondering if he should go. It is strange to sit in Baghdad watching George W. Bush’s stump speech about freedom being on the march in Iraq despite continuing troubles. It is a lot worse than that. Iyad Allawi and the interim government rule parts of Baghdad and some other cities. But there could be uprisings by the Shia in Basra or the Sunni in ...

Saudis break the silence

Helga Graham, 22 April 1993

... when his interest is caught, but since his accession in 1982 freedom has been pruned back to a stump. According to Amnesty International, there were seven hundred political prisoners in Saudi Arabia in the Eighties. The Saudis I’ve been talking to believe that constitutional and social reforms, if seriously and urgently applied, could arrest a ...


David Runciman: Thatcher’s Rise, 6 June 2013

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography. Vol. I: Not for Turning 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 859 pp., £30, April 2013, 978 0 7139 9282 3
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... by a single vote. In the subsequent election campaign Callaghan outperformed Thatcher on the stump, as he always did, but he knew it was too late. She had come to stand for order. He stood for chaos. But what sort of order? Thatcher arrived in office in May 1979 more clearly defined by what she wouldn’t do than by what she would. She was the ...

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